NY now applying for extra unemployment benefits program | WHEC.com

NY now applying for extra unemployment benefits program

Updated: August 21, 2020 06:23 PM
Created: August 21, 2020 04:47 PM

NEW YORK (WHEC) — New York is now applying for the Lost Wages Assistance program.

New Yorkers who are unemployed because of the coronavirus pandemic will be eligible for an extra $300 per week, but first, the state has to apply for the program through FEMA, which could take a few weeks.

A statement from Budget Director Robert Mujica says the following:

"Now that the federal government has blinked and will no longer make states provide funding they do not have, New York State will apply for the Lost Wages Assistance program. As Governor Cuomo has said, politics does not impact policy -- especially during a pandemic -- and if New Yorkers are in need, this administration will do everything we can to support them. But make no mistake, this does not absolve Washington from doing its job, and they must pass a comprehensive aid package that provides a stable extension of unemployment benefits, repeals the SALT cap and supports local and state governments. Anything else would simply be unacceptable." 

President Trump's executive order would provide $400 per week instead, but states had to provide $100 per week of it.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo rejected that deal, saying the state could not afford it.

During an interview Wednesday, News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke asked Gov. Andrew Cuomo about possibly getting $300 a week through FEMA, that the state would not have to pay for.

Lewke: "There'd be no additional cost for New York in order to offer the unemployed the $300, will you apply for that FEMA money to fund that payment?"

Gov. Cuomo: "I don't know what the feds most recent decision is, I don't know that any of it's legal."

He also said he believed the order was "an artificial construction for political reasons" and that he didn't want to do business with FEMA.

Gov. Cuomo: "FEMA, I'd rather do business with the old-time bookie on the street corner than do business with FEMA."

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